Food photography can be an overwhelming endeavor. Just when you think you’ve mastering natural light photography, you might think, Hey, I bet food is just as easy to shoot as my wiggly toddler! This should be a breeze. Turns out, it’s not always so easy. Or maybe you’ve been shooting food for awhile & you’re feeling a bit uninspired. It happens to the best of us. Whether you’re a total beginner or just looking for some inspiration, here are my 3 ways to improve your food photography.
1. Shoot something you wouldn’t make.
Sometimes just the sheer amount of work involved can just be a total buzzkill. You’ve got the grocery store, then prep & cooking. Then styling & shooting. Then dishes! I’ve definitely had days where all of this sounded like the least fun thing I ever wanted to do. When this happens I simply hit the store or local market & pick up something pre made. Yep. Prepared foods. I didn’t cook it, bake it & I won’t have a dish to clean. This method has yielded me some of my most favorite shots, believe it or not! Like this cookie stack with the powdered sugar dusting. These were just a sleeve of cookies I picked up at Whole Foods!
Along these same lines is to make someone else’s recipes. Personally, I love shooting other people’s recipes because it’s typically something I wouldn’t make myself at home. I love the opportunity to review cookbooks because I consider it excellent practice for shooting new things like these beef short ribs, which is a cut of meat I don’t typically work with.
2. Try a new lighting technique
This is one of my favorite things for drumming up creativity. If you’re feeling uninspired, try experimenting with a new lighting technique like backlighting or dramatic lighting. Here’s a tutorial on using backlighting for food photography.
3. Continue to Learn
When I first started shooting food I found myself so overwhelmed at the amount of knowledge out there. I didn’t know quite where to start but I knew I wanted someone to break it down in simple terms, that would be easy to understand.
I wanted to learn about shooting tips & techniques but I also wanted to understand how to build a high functioning prop closet. I wanting styling suggestions & also ideas on how to edit my images in post processing. Because I knew everything I wished had been available to me I set out to make my ebook, Eat Pretty Things, the best guide to food photography for anyone who might be brand new to shooting food or looking for ways to improve their techniques.
In Eat Pretty Things you’ll learn:
- Instructions for understanding the exposure triangle & learning the basics of manual mode.
- Helpful tips & suggestions on choosing & buying gear you can really use.
- Explanations on using natural & artificial lighting techniques.
- Inspiration on the art of storytelling & the 3 things I use to help me style every shoot.
- Eight editing videos showing my most used Lightroom 5 techniques.
- Bonus Instagram section to help you improve your foodie feed & get you noticed!
No matter what you shoot, it’s always fun to challenge yourself in new & creative ways! Taking risks will always yield a result & it might just be a result you love!